Often burning the candle at both ends, marketers are responsible for a lot. Certainly email isn’t the only thing used in their marketing toolkit, so it makes sense they would grab a pick and chisel away at the success of their email by relying on old assumptions about effective email practices. The issue is a significant number of those assumptions are fallacies, and they can genuinely affect the success of an email campaign in various ways, from fundamentally poor deliverability to major issues like blacklisting.
I don’t like watching marketers’ work go to waste.
So here’s a list of four common fallacies marketers need to unsubscribe to (see what I did there?) to increase their deliverability and see better results:
Fallacy 1: The B2C world is the only place where deliverability matters
Some may believe deliverability is only important to businesses sending emails directly to consumers. This is not the case, and here’s why: Consumers are smart; they generally know what is and is not spam, like the filters their mailbox providers use. Your personal Gmail address is typically more flexible with spam filtering, especially with marketing email. Personal inbox providers assume the address will receive marketing emails – which is then built into how those messages are handled. But what about B2B marketing emails? Your work email is primarily used for business communications, so an email with a sales-oriented message may get your email service provider’s attention because it is not the norm. Thus, corporate mailbox providers are likely to send a B2B marketing email to spam, regardless of the recipient’s thoughts on the matter. This is where monitoring deliverability comes into play—you cannot assume non-spam email will be placed in the inbox properly. The differences between B2B and B2C deliverability are significant, so relying on email experts like those at 250ok, where they have tools specifically designed to tackle both B2B and B2C email, is paramount.
Fallacy 2: Activity Targeting is the answer to every deliverability problem
The idea of Activity Targeting is fairly basic: If you just email people who open your messages, your deliverability will improve, since you won’t trouble individuals who will probably delete them without opening or marking the message as spam. The idea is, you’ll improve your bounce rates and complaint rates while showing higher engagement rates – and with that reinforcement, your deliverability issues should be gone, right? Close, but not really. Activity Targeting is not a magic bullet. Relying solely on blanket policies does not benefit anyone. Instead, implement policies that make sense to you and focus on personalization. Activity Targeting is a great first step in getting your email programs to “gold standard,” but to solve every issue you will need to take your deliverability efforts a step further. This is where deliverability experts come into play. Let them identify and correct issues, plus monitor activity. While marketers can try every trick in the book – like only emailing engaged recipients – you still won’t solve or protect against every issue.
Fallacy 3: Reputation must be managed only after it’s damaged
Do you put gas in your car before or after it sputters to a stop on the side of the road? Just as you prepare for upcoming commutes, email wellness is something to be taken seriously preemptively, not just when you’re facing an issue. It’s much easier to maintain the success of your email programs when you’re consistently monitoring and optimizing performance. Would a brand with a reputation issue even have an issue to begin with if they were actively monitoring their deliverability and using best practices? If you are proactive in maintaining your reputation with deliverability monitoring tools and services, you won’t have to call AAA after it’s too late. After all, you might think your brand has a perfectly good email reputation…and be wrong.
Fallacy 4: Identifying and removing spam traps will solve all my problems
A cold medication doesn’t cure you, it only relieves your symptoms. Removing spam traps from your mailing list operates in much of the same way. Sure, you won’t hit that trap again, but it doesn’t fix your actual problem. If you’re not regularly reviewing and cleaning your lists to ensure they are composed of valid addresses provided with clear consent, removal won’t improve your reputation or your deliverability. You’ll simply be playing catch-up until you adopt best practices. A sure way to accumulate bad karma is emailing addresses that the owner did not give to you directly — it will undoubtedly come back to haunt you. Be a good sender.
The fundamental takeaway here is to remain watchful. Doing just one thing will not solve of all your deliverability problems, yet deliverability is key to fruitful email campaigns. Marketers should take a look at email in the same all-encompassing way they take a look at the whole marketing mix. Email is not fixed by crossing your fingers and hoping for the best, it should be monitored and optimized.